SNAPSHOT: Legal Campaigners Fight Climate Change Through the Courts

 
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Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

2018 saw an uptick in legal action on climate change, with citizens, cities, and states turning to the courts to push for faster government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or hold fossil companies accountable for their outsized role in bringing about the climate crisis.

In a landmark decision that had climate hawks around much of the world hoping for a precedent, an appeal court in the Netherlands upheld a lower court order calling for faster emissions cuts by the national government. Courts in Germany ordered three cities to consider banning high-polluting diesel vehicles and temporarily protected a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest from an open-cast coal mine. A report found that more than 80 climate-related lawsuits had landed in U.S. courtrooms in 2017.

The Rise of Climate Attribution Litigation

Legal campaigners built on the emergence of climate impact attribution studies in 2017 as a possible tool for holding fossils, other businesses, and governments accountable for climate impacts by pinpointing the role of major emitters in climate disasters. In mid-May, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said time will tell how well attribution science fares in court. But by then, District Court Judge William Alsup had upheld two California cities’ right to attempt to sue carbon polluters in federal court. Alsup ultimately ruled against the cities, dealing “the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year,” Climate Liability News reported. But before concluding that it was up to elected legislators, not an unelected judge, to decide whether the world is better off without oil, Alsup held what amounted to a climate science seminar in his courtroom, in what Michael Burger, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, called “the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States to date.”

In Canada, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Georgia Strait Alliance were satisfied with the near-miss when a proposal to send municipal climate accountability letters to 20 colossal fossils earned the support of 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities. While “we narrowly lost the vote,” wrote WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it” given the quick pace at which the proposal gained support. WCEL also released a legal tookit for campaigners opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legal Action from All Directions

Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to sue fossils for climate impacts; Colorado filed against ExxonMobil and Suncor; and New York City launched a claim against five giant fossil producers for their role in Hurricane Sandy, “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies” that left 44 dead and US$19 billion in damage after it stormed ashore in October 2012.

Later in the year, New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that America’s biggest oil company had misled investors about its management of climate risk. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni had previously accused Exxon of “running roughshod over the adage that the best defence is a good offence” with its claim that New York and Massachusetts were violating its free speech rights by probing whether it had misled investors. A bipartisan group in the United States proposed a carbon tax deal that would have protected fossils from future climate liability.

Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers discovered that Royal Dutch Shell understood the urgency of climate change as far back as 1988. In mid-November, U.S. crab fishers sued 30 fossils, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Fourteen U.S. states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its methane control regulations, 19 states threatened legal action after the Trump administration moved to roll back tailpipe emission standards, and Colorado’s oil and gas regulator faced an environmental lawsuit from a poor, mostly Hispanic neighbourhood in the city of Greeley.

A Quebec village defeated a lawsuit that would have prevented it from protecting its water supply from fossil exploration. South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a local anti-pipeline ordinance, and anti-pipeline campaigners found out to their dismay that when they win in court, U.S. regulators just change the rules. Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) opened a class action suit on behalf of Quebec youth aged 35 and under, taking Ottawa to task for its inadequate plan to combat climate change.

More Delays for Landmark Youth Lawsuit

The Trump administration continued its feverish effort to keep the 21 youth plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States out of court. After the White House lost a bid to quash the case in March, the trial was scheduled for October 29. The plaintiffs bought their train tickets to Eugene, Oregon, only to be held up again by additional court challenges.

Youth in Colombia took their government to court for failing to protect their future, and eight youth plaintiffs filed suit in mid-April against Florida’s climate-denying governor, Rick Scott.

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Wildfires and tailpipe emissions have taken over from industry as a major source of a group of cancer-causing chemical toxins in the air, Environment Canada says.

Property Disclosure Laws Fall Behind as U.S. Flood Risk Rises

As flood risk grows in tandem with the climate crisis, absent or weak disclosure laws are putting the safety and financial well-being of millions of Americans at risk.

Japan to Ban New Internal Combustion Cars in Mid-2030s

With $170/Tonne Carbon Price, $15B in New Spending, Canada’s 2030 Carbon Target Still Falls Far Short

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled an updated national climate plan Friday that includes a $170-per-tonne carbon price in 2030, C$15 billion in new climate spending, a more modest Clean Fuel Standard, and a slight increase in the country’s 2030 carbon reduction goal—just barely enough to keep the government’s promise to boost its ambition beyond the 30% target originally adopted by the Stephen Harper government in 2015.

Citizens Sue South African Government for Extreme Air Pollution

Literally choking on some of the world’s worst air pollution, residents of the town of Middelburg and other communities in the coal-intensive Highveld plateau of South Africa are suing the federal government for violating their constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Oregon, California, Two Indigenous Tribes Restart Biggest Dam Removal Project in U.S.

Japanese Court Shuts Two Nuclear Plants Over Earthquake Concerns

EU Pushes for Tougher Environmental Rules for EV Batteries

Scientists Plead for Action as Soaring Temperatures Show Arctic in Crisis

As temperatures soared across Canada’s Northwest Territories last week, scientists from around the world were checking in and confirming an Arctic ecosystem in deepening crisis. They’re pleading for action to protect the ice that remains and, with it, the global ecosystem as we know it.

In Conversation: Climate Response, COVID Recovery Must Factor in Adaptation, Bardswick and Ness Say

Kathy Bardswick is President and Ryan Ness is Adaptation Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. In this feature interview, they talk about their new report on climate impacts and adaptation, the close connections between adaptation and mitigation, and how to get rolling on climate action while the detailed data is still taking shape.

Trans Mountain Poised for Tree Clearing Despite Promise to Protect Burnaby Salmon Habitat

The federally-owned company building the Trans Mountain pipeline is about to begin clearing trees near sensitive salmon habitat along the Brunette River in Burnaby, British Columbia—even though a company executive swore in an affidavit that the fish would be protected, and two government reports in the last two weeks have concluded there’s no likely justification for completing the project.

As Canada Spends Billions on Pipelines, First Nations Communities Still Wait for Water

Despite being one of the wealthiest nations on Earth and having an abundance of fresh water, Canada can’t seem to find a way to secure clean water for First Nations communities—though it will move heaven and earth to pipe its oil and gas to market.

Diesel Ship Sulphur ‘Scrubbers’ Create Marine Waste Without Tackling Particulates, Black Carbon

While scrubbers on ocean-going ships do help reduce sulphur emissions, they also place marine waters at extreme risk from acidic sulphur waste and other toxic contaminants that get dumped overboard, and they fail to tackle particulate matter or black carbon, a recent report concludes.

PEI Legislature Adopts Net Zero by 2040

European Analyst Sees Diesel Engine Entering its Sunset

Quebec Rules Out Provincial Funding, Won’t Cancel Project After 110,000 Sign Petition Against GNL Québec Megaproject

Quebec Premier François Legault has ruled out provincial financial support for a plan to build the GNL Québec liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the province’s Saguenay region, but stopped short of cancelling a controversial and high-carbon project that he previously supported.

Globe Editorial Board Calls for Deep Investment in Canadian Public Transit

With Canada’s government short on specifics for how the billions in “smart investments” promised in its recent Fall Economic Statement will be spent, the Globe and Mail is calling for deep investments in public transit as a timely and just use of the funds.

Contrail Pollutants Contribute Twice the Impact of Airline CO2 Emissions, Study Finds

A new report from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency concludes that emissions of black carbon, nitrous oxide, soot, and water vapour were responsible for two-thirds of the total climate impact of the aviation industry in 2018—twice that of its CO2 emissions.

New York Utilities Could Lose Licences Over Poor Hurricane Response

Build EVs to Hit Climate Targets, Boost Manufacturing, Clean Energy Canada Urges

South African Utility Faces Prosecution for Air Pollution

BREAKING: Canada Places Dead Last on Energy Use, Fourth-Last Overall in Global Climate Change Performance Index

Canada posts the fourth-worst climate performance in the world, ahead only of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, and no country is consistent with the overall targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement, in the latest edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) published this morning by Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute, and Climate Action Network-International.

Netherlands Citizens Sue Royal Dutch Shell for Emissions Reductions

A group of environmental organizations representing thousands of Dutch citizens have launched a civil case against Royal Dutch Shell, asking a district court to order the fossil giant to cut its carbon emissions 45% by 2030.

Four Decades of Research Show Gas Stoves as ‘Overlooked’ Risk to Indoor Air, Child Health

As a physician and epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, T. Stephen Jones spent his career fighting major threats to public health in the United States and globally, from smallpox to HIV to viral hepatitis. But it wasn’t until Jones was well into retirement that he learned about a widespread yet widely overlooked health risk in his own home in Florence, Massachusetts, and in most U.S. households: pollution emitted by natural gas appliances.

Climate Crisis will Force Gulf Petro-States to Embrace Renewables, Expert Review Concludes

Member petro-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Middle East can—and must—accelerate their adoption of renewable energy if they are to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, say a team of experts from the region.

International Group Proposes Legislation to Criminalize Ecocide

In an effort led largely by small island nations, 13 international lawyers are drafting a plan to make ecosystem destruction a criminal offence of the highest degree.

Inuit Circumpolar Council Pans ‘Weak’ IMO Ban on Heavy Fuel Oil

Maine’s Solutions to Rural EV Infrastructure Could Point the Way

Poland Approves Funding for 10.9 GW of Offshore Wind

Yorkshire Communities Must Look Out for Themselves, UK Storm Inquiry Finds

Boris Johnson

BREAKING: UK Declares 68% Carbon Reduction Target for 2030 After Analyst Warns to Watch the Fine Print

The United Kingdom will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 68% from 1990 levels by 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today, a plan he said would put the country on track for net-zero emissions by 2050 and represent the fastest rate of GHG reductions of any major economy.

Ontario Making Little or No Progress on GHG Reduction Strategy, New Report Concludes

The Doug Ford government in Ontario has made little or no progress on key elements of its 2030 climate action plan, putting the province’s greenhouse gas emissions on track to increase rather than falling, Environmental Defence warns in a new report this week.

Deforestation, Degradation in Brazilian Amazon Hit 12-Year High

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has rocketed to levels not seen since 2008, thanks to the pro-development/anti-regulation regime of President Jair Bolsonaro. Further endangering one of the planet’s most critical carbon stores: widespread degradation of the rainforest soil and understory.

European Court Greenlights Portuguese Youth Climate Lawsuit

In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has greenlighted a climate lawsuit brought against 33 countries by six Portuguese children and young adults who say those nations must “do better and act correctly” in the fight against the climate crisis.

U.S. Public Lenders Ignore Risks as Climate-Driven Mortgage Crisis Looms

As U.S. public mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to turn a mostly blind eye to climate risk, policy experts warn that such ostrich-like behaviour could spark a reprise of the 2008 housing crisis—with low-income and minority communities, as always, in the crosshairs.

Manitoba Spends Only 9% of Available Federal Funds on GHG Reductions

Fossils Funded U.S. Politicians Who Pushed Anti-Protest Laws

California Freezes Insurance in Wildfire Areas

BREAKING: Countries’ Fossil Extraction Plans Drive Emissions Far Past 1.5°C Limit

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a “potential turning point” in global fossil fuel production, countries will drive greenhouse gas emissions far beyond a 1.5°C limit on average warming if their published plans to increase coal, oil, and gas extraction come to pass, according to the 2020 Production Gap Report issued this morning by five major international agencies.

UK Agricultural Funding Shakeup Increases Focus on Wildland Protection

Upcoming radical changes in the United Kingdom’s agricultural policy—including the replacement of an ineffective, $2.7-billion annual landowner subsidy—are being largely welcomed by both farmers and environmental groups.

Report: Just Transition to Renewable Energy Requires Mining Industry Reform

The coming energy transition may be carbon-free, but it is still very much dependent on mining—and that has experts warning that stringent regulation is needed to ensure that the shift to renewable energy is truly sustainable. MiningWatch Canada has released some recommendations on how to make it happen.

‘Generation 2050’ Manifesto Sets Agenda on Climate Crisis, Energy Poverty

In an urgent call to simultaneously address the climate crisis and energy poverty, 1,000 young energy industry professionals have released a Generation 2050 Manifesto that champions ingenuity, passion, and collaboration over attachment to entrenched and beleaguered status quos. 

Milne Ice Shelf Collapse Shows Urgent Need for Arctic Conservation, Scientists Warn

Utah Tries to Block Cities from Banning Natural Gas

First Phase of China’s Carbon Trading Plan to Cover 2,267 Power Plants

Freeland Plans Fiscal Update Today as Energy Regulator Report Renews Trans Mountain Opposition

With Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland due to release her long-awaited fiscal update today, the federal government is coming under new pressure to abandon the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as an economic “white elephant” whose “justification has evaporated” given the threat it poses to Indigenous rights and endangered species.

Existing Financial Regulations Could Help Make Biden the ‘Climate President’, Analyst Says

With the editors of the Washington Post urging U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to step up as the country’s “climate change president”, an analysis for Greentech Media says the new administration has precisely the legislative tool it needs to drive faster, deeper carbon cuts—whether or not Senate Republicans approve.

Consumer Giants Underestimate Climate Risk in Food Supply Chains

A new report by CDP has found that global food giants are underestimating climate risks like drought, pollution, and declining biodiversity as they respond to consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable diets—a short-sightedness that could bode ill for future resilience and food security.

Keystone Decision May Be a ‘Tough Moment’ for U.S.-Canada Relations, Biden Ally Warns

With the federal and Alberta governments mounting an all-out diplomatic effort to prevent cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, a close political ally of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is warning the new administration’s decision on the controversial project will be a “tough relationship moment” for the two countries.

Yellen Expected to Bring Climate Concerns to New Role as U.S. Treasury Secretary

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary is being interpreted as the latest sign the new administration is planning a serious response to the climate crisis.

As an Oil Un-Building Looms, Newfoundlanders Ask: What Next, and Who Pays?

With 5,200 direct jobs lost in the fossil sector since March, the government of Newfoundland is beginning to talk, tentatively, about reinventing itself as a green energy leader. Also on the horizon: finding answers to the murky question of who will pay to decommission the fossil infrastructure left behind.

In Conversation: A Better Climate Accountability Bill Serves Everyone’s Interests, Croome and Andrews Say

Julia Croome and Alan Andrews are staff lawyers at Ecojustice, where they’ve been leading much of the climate community’s research and analysis leading up to the release of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, last week. In this feature interview, they explain the essential difference between an accountability bill and a climate plan, the gaps in the current legislation, and why every party in Parliament should want C-12 strengthened.

GM Abandons Support for Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Giant automaker General Motors is stepping away from its support for Donald Trump’s efforts to strip California of its ability to set tougher fuel economy standards for vehicles, a move that some observers see as an early sign of U.S. industry embracing the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration when it takes office January 20.

Opinion: An Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable Electricity Future for Atlantic Canada is Renewable

Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity on Earth, far cheaper than coal, nuclear, or natural gas. When paired with energy storage technologies and regional hydropower networks, they can deliver reliable power while reducing utility bills for ratepayers who most need the savings, say the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Ecology Action Centre.

Manufacturer Shuts 3,400 MW of Capacity as Coal Becomes ‘Litmus Test’ for China’s Carbon Neutral Pledge

The world’s biggest aluminum and textile producer has shuttered 3,400 MW of coal-fired generating capacity in China’s Shandong province, even as the country weighs the more than US$300 billion in stranded asset risk it could face if it doesn’t begin restricting construction of new coal plants.

Consumer Goods Giants Mull International Plastic Pollution Treaty

While many of the world’s consumer goods giants—along with the majority of UN member countries—support a global treaty on plastic pollution, the creation of any serious framework will depend on the United States and China signing on to the agreement.

Enbridge Gets Crucial Army Corps Permit for Line 3 Pipeline

U.S. Climate Hawks Sue to Stop Arctic Drilling Plan

Canadian Climate Youth Take Case to Federal Court of Appeal

PEI Energy Corporation Appeals Rejection of Wind Farm Expansion

Carbon Capture at Montana Coal Plant ‘Not Financial Attractive’, Trump’s DOE Concludes

Minnesota Hydro Plant Gets $2.75-Million Upgrade

Wales Aims for Zero-Emission Biogas from Sewage

Study Finds ‘Prevalent’ Methane Leaks in Connecticut Housing

Ohio Regulator Fails to Protect Coal Miners’ Health

Kerry Named White House Climate ‘Czar’ as Analysis Shows U.S. Could Cut Emissions 38-54% by 2030

Paris Agreement architect John Kerry was appointed White House climate “czar”, a half-dozen other senior appointments signalled stability and continuity, and a few glass ceilings were shattered as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced nominees for senior administration positions Monday.

Clean, Green California Still Allows Oil Drilling Next to Schools

Only 45 of Top 100 U.S. Cities Have Specific Carbon Targets

Market Conditions ‘Deteriorate Markedly’ for South African Coal

UK Issues First-Ever Green Bond

Climate Vulnerable Forum Push for Specifics as 151 Countries Promise Tougher Paris Targets

While more than 150 countries have confirmed their Paris Agreement commitments to introduce more ambitious climate plans by the end of this year, the Climate Vulnerable Forum is warning those promises may not be enough to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis in the countries it affects first and worst.

Globe and Mail: ‘Underwhelming’ Federal Climate Bill Leaves Accountability to Future Governments

The Trudeau government is taking criticism for introducing an “underwhelming” climate accountability bill last week that would require future governments, but not the present one, to live up to their carbon reduction commitments one.

B.C. Leads, Alberta and Ontario Imperil National Results in Efficiency Canada’s Latest Provincial Scorecard

British Columbia maintained its lead as Canada’s top jurisdiction for energy efficiency in 2019, Saskatchewan came in last for a second year running, Prince Edward Island distinguished itself as most-improved province, and program cuts in Alberta and Ontario emerged as a serious threat, as Efficiency Canada released its second annual scorecard of provincial efficiency programs.

Sea Level Rise Requires ‘Equitable Retreat’ from Coastal Communities

As rising seas and fiercer storms make the coast an ever more tenuous place to live, policy-makers all over the world need to plan and fund a managed retreat to ensure that under-resourced populations are not forced to forfeit what little security and agency they possessed in their former homes.

Transit Authorities Across U.S. Face Pandemic-Driven Funding Crisis

Pandemic-struck New York City is pleading for emergency transit funding, with tens of billions in local GDP, hundreds of thousands of transit-dependent jobs, and the ongoing struggle for social justice all hanging in the balance. And with former commuters continuing to shun their service in droves, transit districts across the U.S. are facing the same crisis.

Groups Sue Trump Admin for ‘Irrational’ Gulf of Mexico Environmental Assessment

New Mexico Enforces Clean-Up Rules Before Oilfield Leases Expire

Climate Hawks Hail Milestone, Flag Major Gaps in Trudeau Government’s Climate Accountability Bill

Canadian climate analysts and advocates are marking a milestone after the Trudeau government tabled its long-awaited climate accountability legislation in the House of Commons yesterday, while raising flags about major shortcomings in the bill.

Vancouver Passes $500-Million Climate Emergency Action Plan

If Vancouver’s newly-minted Climate Emergency Action Plan goes well, 2030 will find 80% of all trips within city limits occurring by foot, bike, or transit, embodied emissions in new buildings reduced by 40%, and 50% of all kilometres driven on city roads emitting zero greenhouse gases.

Pick Up the Pace on Climate Risk Exposure, Bank of Canada Governor Macklem Urges

Canada’s banks and businesses must pick up the pace on disclosing the risks they’re exposed to as a result of the climate crisis, newly-installed Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told an online panel earlier this week organized by the Public Policy Forum.

‘Scathing’ Auditor General’s Report Shows Ontario At Risk of Missing 2030 Carbon Targets

The Doug Ford government’s failure to make greenhouse gas reductions a “cross-government priority” has placed it at risk of missing its 2030 carbon targets, and Ontario has reached “surprising” levels of non-compliance with a decades-old requirement to consult the public on environmentally significant projects, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk warned Wednesday in her annual review of the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights.

Midwestern U.S. Mayors Launch $60-Billion Energy Transition Blueprint

Mayors in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia recently unveiled a US$60-billion Marshall Plan for Middle America, intended to accelerate a compassionate, equitable, just, and sustainable transition away from fossil fuels.

‘Complacency is Breathtaking’ as Nations Approve 10 Years of Rising Emissions from International Shipping

Governments attending a key meeting on international shipping have adopted what one observer calls a “disastrously weak” plan that will lead to a decade of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a sector that already adds a billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere each year.

Philadelphia Cuts Fees, Red Tape for Solar Installers

Campaigners Protest Opening of Expanded Berlin Airport

Voluntary Projects Produced Smaller Carbon, Deforestation Gains than Reported

Maritime Port Engineers Need Guidance on Sea Level Rise

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Governor Yanks Line 5 Pipeline Easement, Citing Enbridge Violations

Citing repeated and routine refusals by Calgary-based Enbridge to address safety concerns surrounding the 6.4-kilometre Straits of Mackinac section of its Line 5 pipeline, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has terminated the easement that allowed the submarine pipeline to operate.

Quebec Green Plan Falls Far Short of 2030 Carbon Target, Analysts Say

The Quebec government may have nabbed some early headlines by tipping the centrepiece of its Green Economy Plan, a 2035 phaseout of internal combustion vehicle sales. But once the full strategy was released Monday, climate analysts and campaigners quickly concluded that it won’t meet the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Farmers Sue Alberta Fossil for Unpaid Oil Lease Rent

Put off by their tenant’s abrupt decision to cease making its lease payments, two Alberta farmers have launched what may become the first class action lawsuit against unpaid oil leases—a far too common practice that weighs heavily on the public purse, and on rural landowners’ finances.

UK Expected to Set 2030 Target to Ban Petrol, Diesel Vehicle Sales

IESO Extends Deadline for Nation Rise Wind Farm Near Cornwall

Arizona Regulator Sets 2050 Carbon-Free Target for Utilities

New Evidence Could Tip Norway Supreme Court Case Against Arctic Drilling

Trudeau Government’s Climate Accountability Legislation Could Appear This Week

The Trudeau government is expected to release its long-awaited climate accountability legislation as soon as this week, complete with a formal commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and legally binding five-year targets along the way. But CBC says it won’t include the enforcement mechanism that climate policy analysts consider essential to make the plan work.

In Conversation: Canada is Weakening Methane Regulations that Need to be Toughened, Marshall Says

Dale Marshall is National Climate Program Manager at Environmental Defence Canada, a veteran of many climate finance discussions at United Nations climate conferences, and one of the Canadian climate community’s specialists on methane regulations. In this feature interview, he talks about Canada’s failure to seize one of the quickest, easiest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explains what could possibly go wrong when Ottawa cedes its authority for methane controls to the three western provinces.

Ontario Youth Climate Defenders Win Their Day in Court

Almost a year after launching a climate lawsuit against their province’s government, seven young Ontarians have learned that their case can go forward, and they will have their day in court.

Early Signs Show Biden Setting Up to Deliver on Bold Climate Action Agenda

It’s still the earliest of early days in the Biden administration’s transition process, with countless decisions to be made, cabinet appointments to be vetted, and senior staff to be recruited. But the news reports so far are coming to an astonishing consensus: that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris meant it when they declared climate action a priority, and they seem determined to deliver on the promise.

San Francisco Passes Landmark Natural Gas Ban for New Buildings

The city of San Francisco will begin banning natural gas as a heating or cooking energy source for all new residential and commercial buildings—except restaurants—as of next June, adding to a prohibition already in place banning natural gas in new city-owned buildings.

Six-Step Guide Supports EV Charger Installations in Condos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Hanukkah_Party

Analysts Expect Fast Action on Infrastructure, Possible White House ‘Climate Czar’ as Biden-Harris Priorities Take Shape

Rolling back environmental deregulation, investing in green economic stimulus, restoring trust in science, and possible appointment of a White House “climate czar” are expected to be key priorities for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden after he’s sworn in January 20, sparking an equal and opposite reversal after the four years of deep damage caused by a soon-to-depart Donald Trump.

U.S. ‘Climate Corps’ Could Mimic Depression-Era Economic Lifeline

A U.S. program once put to work as an economic lifeline in the 1930s is being proposed for revival as a 21st-century response to youth unemployment, devastated ecosystems, and the climate crisis.

Army Corps Halts Permit for Multi-Billion-Dollar Petrochemical Complex in Louisiana

Public and climate health received a two-handed boost in Louisiana last week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pressing pause on a proposed US$9.4-billion petrochemical complex, and voters rejecting an amendment that would have exempted Big Oil in perpetuity from paying property taxes.

Lawsuit Calls for Duke Energy, Not North Carolina Ratepayers, to Fund Coal Ash Cleanup

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is pushing for permission from the state’s utility commission to impose rate increases to cover the US$9 billion it will need for coal ash cleanup. But the company will be seeing the state’s attorney general, along with local environmental groups, in supreme court.

China’s Solar Surge Leads to Glass Shortage

With glass supplies running short and prices correspondingly spiking, Chinese solar manufacturers are appealing to Beijing to approve new glass factories—an industry that hit the brakes in 2018 when the country banned further expansion due to overcapacity concerns.

European Green Deal Takes Aim at LNG Exporters

Putin Decrees Limited Support for Paris Agreement Goals

Norway Heavy Fuel Oil Ban Shows Need for Action by IMO

Alberta Auditor General Slams Fossil ‘War Room’ for Undocumented Sole-Source Contracts

Alberta Auditor General Doug Wylie took aim at the Jason Kenney government’s hapless fossil industry “war room” in an annual report that identified more than C$1.7 billion in accounting errors, inaccurate projections, and other “adjustments” in the provincial budget.

‘Totally Worth It’, Regulator Says, After Trump Demotes Him for Backing Carbon Pricing, Distributed Energy

If every public school in the United States went 100% solar, the resulting emissions reductions would be equal to shuttering 18 coal-fired power plants. And, as one Arkansas school district recently proved, the money saved on energy costs could translate into higher pay for teachers.

Regulators Probe Future of Massachusetts Gas Industry

17 Major Customers Demand Tougher Carbon Target from Ocean Shippers

Biden-Harris Campaign Launches BuildBackBetter. com Transition Team Site

With the final ballots still being counted in five key states, but analysts and a desperate-sounding Donald Trump signalling the imminent end of the U.S. election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled BuildBackBetter. com as the online address for the transition leading up to their inauguration January 20.

Wilkinson Promises New 2030 Target in ‘Very Near Term’ as Opposition MPs Flag Delays

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson promised to announce measures to exceed Canada’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions in the “very near term”, but refused to say when the government’s wider climate plan would be released, under questioning by opposition MPs at the House Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Supreme Court Decision on Northern Quebec Uranium Mine Reinforces Social Licence, Indigenous Authority

The Supreme Court of Canada’s refusal to hear a case revolving around a proposed uranium mine near the Cree community of Mistissini reinforces Indigenous communities’ authority over natural resource development in their territories and underscores the importance of social licence for resource projects, the Grand Council of the Crees said late last month.

High Schoolers in Wyoming, Appalachia Offer Starkly Contrasting Visions of a Post-Coal Economy

A recent Zoom meet-up for high school students from Wyoming and the Appalachia region was an opportunity to talk about how coal can be the foundation for flourishing post-coal communities—but only if dollars are reinvested back into those communities and the local tax base is not hollowed out.

No Need to ‘Live Through Darkness’: Award Honoree Fights for Energy Equity

Driven by her personal experience with energy poverty, a recent Energy News Network 40 Under 40 honoree is working hard as a senior policy associate at a U.S. community solar developer to ensure that ethnicity, language barriers, and income do not bar homeowners from accessing renewable energy.

Newfoundland Fossil Crash Triggers Emotional Toll of Earlier Cod Moratorium

Ottawa Demands Water Quality Improvements at Teck Coal Mines in B.C.

Colorado Wants Longer Setbacks Between Fracking Wells, Populated Spaces

Australian Pension Fund Settles ‘Groundbreaking’ Claim on Climate Risk Assessment

An Australian retirement fund worth A$57 billion has reached an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit launched by a member who accused it of jeopardizing his interests by failing to take seriously the climate risk exposure of its investments.

Citizens Decry Incomplete Assessment of Quebec’s Saguenay LNG Project

Environmental groups and concerned citizens are decrying the province of Quebec’s refusal to look beyond site-specific concerns in its analysis of a proposed C$9-billion natural gas liquefaction terminal on the Saguenay River.

Regulator Raises ‘Pointed Questions’ about Site C as Project Threatens Prime Farmland

A provincial regulator has filed a list of 75, often sharply-worded questions with BC Hydro, aiming to get to the bottom of the stability risks the utility is now reporting with its multi-billion-dollar Site C hydropower project.

Wealthy Countries Unload 14 Million Shoddy, Dirty, Unsafe Cars to Africa, Asia

About 14 million old, poor-quality used cars were exported from Europe, Japan, and the United States between 2015 and 2018, says a new study from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Of those vehicles, a whopping 80% did not meet local minimum safety standards, or the emissions standards set by the European Union.

Michigan Regulator Won’t Review Climate Impacts of Line 5 Pipeline

Netherlands On Track to Miss 2030 Climate Targets Despite Court Order

Vancouver Has More to Do to Hit 2030 Carbon Target

Alaska Fossils Spend Millions on Tax-Related Ballot Measures

Trump Ally, Climate-Denying Coal Boss Bob Murray Dies at Age 80

Net-Zero Promise Will Force Japan to Shutter 34 GW of Coal by 2040

Mayan Communities Sue Mexico Over Solar Megaproject

New Rules Require Earlier Air Monitoring at Colorado Fracking Sites

Biden Win, Pandemic Economy Could End Keystone XL as Trudeau, O’Regan Pledge Pipeline Support

The Keystone XL pipeline may be coming to the end of a very long road, ultimately brought down by the combination of a Joe Biden presidency and crashing global oil demand—even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan are still standing beside Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to support the controversial project.

Ottawa Can’t Predict Emission Cuts from New Methane Controls

The federal government is trying out a revamped set of fossil industry incentives to hit its target of reducing methane emissions 40 to 45% by 2025, but at least three environmental groups in Canada and one in the United States say Ottawa could get better results if it just regulated the companies’ emissions.

South Korea Follows Japan with Carbon-Neutral Pledge

Pembina Flags Three Climate Priorities for B.C.’s Majority Government

Wyoming Funds Out-of-State Campaigns to Prop Up Coal Demand

Trump Offshore Drilling Ban Hits Wind Farms, Too

Australian Groups Call for Better Regulation of Coal Ash Dams

15 Climate Youth Plan Appeal After Court Rejects Lawsuit for Federal Recovery Plan

An appeal is in the offing after a Federal Court judge rejected a lawsuit by 15 Canadian youth calling for the Trudeau government to develop a science-based climate recovery plan.

U.S. Can’t Decarbonize Transport without Driving Less, New Analysis Warns

Transportation programs that emphasize electric vehicle use without also limiting the distances people have to drive won’t be enough to achieve rapid decarbonization, Transportation for America and Smart Growth America warn in a report issued earlier this month.

International ‘Right to Repair’ Movement Calls for End to Forced Obsolescence

A growing movement calling for the “right to repair” is finding deep, cross-partisan support, with advocates ranging from medical personnel desperate to repair broken ventilators in a timely fashion to car owners who want to fix software glitches at their local garage. And policy-makers are increasingly tuning in, with the European Union taking the lead.

Oil Rig Provider Tranocean Dumped Out of NY Stock Exchange

Scottish Developer Gets Green Light for Country’s Tallest Wind Farm

Democrats Explore How Biden Climate Plan Would Navigate a Hostile U.S. Senate

With a bitter presidential campaign in the United States winding down to its last 100 or so hours, and Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris holding a steady lead in opinion polls, U.S. analysts are starting to ponder how much the new administration will be able to get done on climate policy once it takes office—and how they’ll go about it.

Alberta Caribou Plan Allows Fossil Drilling Right Away, Delays Habitat Protections Five Years

The federal and Alberta governments have signed on to a protection plan for the province’s caribou that gives them five years to develop and implement range plans for the endangered herds, but allows fossil drilling in some of their habitats to start up right away.

Swiss Oil Traders Rankle at Call for Higher Human Rights, Environmental Standards

A popular Swiss plebiscite that would hold companies in the country liable for human rights and environmental violations is making many of the nation’s business leaders sweat—especially the oil traders.

New Jersey to Ban Internal Combustion Vehicle Sales in 2035

Province Pans Delays After Feds Approve Alberta Gas Line Expansion

Wyoming Utility Looks to Recycle Used Wind Turbine Blades

Singapore Takes Comprehensive Approach to Cutting Emissions

Too Much Sun Can Degrade Anti-Corrosion Coating on Pipelines

New Flood Defences Protect Venice Twice in October

U.S.–Mexico Water Rights Standoff Kills Protester, Points to Risk of Future Climate Conflict

The climate crisis is exacerbating long-standing tensions over water rights between Mexico and the United States—tensions that exploded last month to lethal effect when Mexican national guardsmen killed a young farmer.

Trump Moves to Open Tongass National Forest to Logging

EU Carbon Price Would Have to Triple to Support Green Hydrogen

German Defence Minister Sees ‘Momentous’ Challenge in Climate Change

Ottawa City Plan Sets Sights on Zero Emissions, 4.4 GW of New Renewables by 2050

The City of Ottawa has released a long-awaited energy transition plan that has it eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out all fossil fuel use, shifting all heating and transportation to electricity or other zero-emission options, and adding 4.4 gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity by 2050.

Maui Files Lawsuit to Recover Climate Damages from 20 Fossil Companies

Maui County in Hawaii has filed a lawsuit against 20 oil and gas companies, including colossal fossils ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips, hoping to secure compensation for the rising costs the community faces due to climate change.

Federal Committee Excludes Big Buildings from Key Airtightness Standard

Michigan Governor Whitmer Pledges Carbon-Neutral by 2050

German Environment Minister Wants 75-80% Renewables by 2030

Wilkinson Interested in Carbon Border Adjustment as Analysts Scan Biden Trade Policies

The Trudeau government is expressing warmer interest in carbon border adjustments (CBAs) as a way to control industrial greenhouse gas emissions without putting Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage internationally, just as the European Union and the United States begin serious musings about taking similar steps, the Globe and Mail reports this week.

Op-ed: Alberta’s Managed Coal Power Plummet a Climate ‘Success Story’

Alberta’s turn away from coal has been a “climate action success story” thanks to key policies—many unpopular—set by former premier Rachel Notley, according to a recent essay written by two Alberta economists.

Tackling Plastic Waste Crisis Means Total System Overhaul, Not Bioplastics

Expensive to make and less versatile than their fossil-based cousins, bioplastic products are not the solution to the world’s plastic woes—and are by no means as biodegradable as consumers are led to think, a new study concludes.

Drop Tactics that ‘Disturb Innocent People’, Attenborough Urges XR

Building Retrofits, Clean Transportation Lead Green Budget Coalition’s 2020 Recommendations

The Green Budget Coalition is calling on the Trudeau government to include C$10 billion for building energy retrofits, $4.8 billion for clean transportation, $4.8 billion for protected areas, and $2.6 billion for nature-based climate solutions in its 2020 budget.

Coney Barrett Refuses to State ‘Views on Climate Change’ En Route to U.S. Supreme Court Appointment

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett dodged and weaved through two days of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but “created perhaps the most tangible backlash” with her refusal to declare a position on climate change, the New York Times reports.

New York Looks to Replace Six Gas Peaker Plants, Brings Environmental Justice Groups Into the Process

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is considering replacing six gas-fired peak power plants in the New York City area with battery storage and other advanced energy options, and promised last week to plan the transition in partnership with environmental justice groups.

Physicians Urge B.C. to Shift from Gas to Electric Appliances

Pop-Up Bike Lanes Spark Controversy in Berlin

Canada’s Building Codes Fall Short of Net Zero-Ready Goal

Edmonton Utility Pushes Solar Project Over First Nations’, Green Groups’ Objections

Hawaii Utility Looks for 300 MW New Solar, 2,000 MWh Storage

Developer Plans 4.4 GW Offshore Wind for Taiwan

Navajo Ranchers Endure in the Face of Relentless Drought

Navajo Nation ranchers in the southwestern United States are holding resolute in their work despite two decades of drought, centuries of abused or broken water rights, and, now, grief over loved ones lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

Plastic Bag Ban Could Produce Unintended Environmental Consequences

Fracking CEO Faces Fraud Lawsuit

U.S. Regulator Breaks 40-Year Precedent on Small-Scale Solar

German Greens Call for End to New Highway Construction

Fossil Shutdowns Could Lead to Pricey Compensation Claims Under Investor Dispute Settlement Rules

A maze of more than 2,600 bilateral treaties and preferential trade agreements could expose governments to costly lawsuits by allowing foreign investors and shareholders to recover losses on their stranded oil, gas, and coal assets, according to a new analysis by the London, UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development.

Emissions of Super-Pollutant Nitrous Oxide Rising on ‘Worst-Case’ Trajectory

Global emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) are rising on a frightening scale, putting them on track to single-handedly push global warming far beyond the limits of the Paris Agreement, according to a new study.

Natural Gas ‘Bridge’ Gets ‘Shorter and Narrower’ as Corona Drives Down Demand

Natural gas is quickly declining as a supposed “bridge” between coal-fired electricity and renewable energy, without even factoring in the climate-busting methane emissions that come along with natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Global Energy Storage Could Hit 741 GWh by 2030

Global energy storage capacity could hit 741 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2030, an astonishing threshold that would be driven by compound annual growth of 31%, according to a new assessment by Wood Mackenzie that shows the United States accounting for almost half of the global total.

Facebook Persists as a Haven for Climate Disinformation

Though Facebook insists that it is curtailing the spread of climate disinformation, anti-climate ads continue to circulate widely via the social network behemoth.

Canada Would Need Minimum $117 Carbon Price without Other Emission Reduction Programs: PBO

U.S. Court Strikes Down Obama-Era Methane Rule

Leaked 2018 Strategy Proposed ‘Broader Than Oil’ Coalition to Undercut Ottawa’s Clean Fuel Standard

A top communications and government relations firm led by long-time Conservative Party strategist Jaime Watt developed a confidential plan to undercut support for the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by convincing Canadians that “fighting climate change is a losing battle,” according to leaked documents released this week by Greenpeace Canada.

European Parliament Adopts 60% Carbon Cut by 2030 as Fossils Fall Short of Paris Targets

European legislators adopted a legally-binding target this week to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2030, more ambitious than the net reduction of “at least 55%” the European Commission had proposed, even as a new study found the continent’s fossil companies’ climate plans falling short of the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Canada’s Plastics Reduction Plan Earns Praise, Criticism

The Canadian government’s declared intent to ban certain single-use plastics and start leading on recycled content standards and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs has met with backlash, praise, and demands that more be done.

China’s Air Quality Gains May Have Increased Atmospheric Warming

Clean Energy Canada Lays Out Arguments for ZEV Mandate

Climate Brings Coastal Problems to U.S. Side of Lake Ontario

Mississippi, Tennessee Haggle Over Aquifer as Water Levels Drop

U.S. Groups Form New Clean Power Lobby

Innu Nation Files $4-Billion Compensation Claim for Churchill Falls Hydropower Project

The Innu Nation of Labrador has filed a C$4-billion court claim against Hydro-Québec and Churchill Falls Corporation, saying their culture and way of life have been devastated by construction of the 5,428-megawatt Churchill Falls hydropower project beginning in 1967.

No-Strings Federal Bailout for Newfoundland Fossils Followed Rushed, Incomplete Impact Assessment

Three leading environmental organizations are criticizing Ottawa’s decision to hand over C$320 million to the offshore oil sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, after a federal science review found fault with a new regulation that permits new exploratory drilling projects without further environmental assessment or public input.

Review Finds Michigan Underwater Pipeline Tunnel Plan ‘Riddled with Hazards’

Enbridge’s plans to build a pipeline tunnel to carry oil beneath a waterway linking Lake Michigan to Lake Huron are below industry standard and riddled with hazards, according to a group of experts asked to evaluate the project.

Loopholes Allow 84% of Heavy Fuel Oil Use to Continue

Russia ‘Has a Lot to Lose’ if EU Adopts Border Carbon Adjustment

Big Oil Dominates Donations in Alaska Tax Ballot Fight

Chinese Chemical Plants Begin Capturing Nitrous Oxide, a Super-Pollutant 300 Times More Potent than CO2

An industrial gas company in China has taken a “noteworthy step” to capture and reuse nitrous oxide, a climate pollutant that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, InsideClimate News reports.

Nature-Based Solutions Risk a Greenwashing ‘Circus,’ Says International Coalition

An international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous groups is warning that the net-zero emissions concept has become little more than a licence to pollute as governments and fossils leverage their version of “nature-based solutions” to dodge the heavy lifting of actual emissions cuts.

Wet’suwet’en Petition for Judicial Review of Coastal GasLink Certificate

Ontario Won’t Appeal Court Ruling Against Anti-Carbon Tax Propaganda Stickers

IEA Says Climate Goals ‘Virtually Impossible’ without Carbon Capture

Suppressed Study Shows Polar Bears at Risk from Alaska Oil and Gas Drilling

A senior Trump administration official is delaying release of a science study that shows how Alaska oil and gas drilling would encroach on the territory of endangered polar bears, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Was Preventable, Japanese High Court Rules

The devastating Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns and explosions in 2011 could have been prevented, a Japanese high court concluded Wednesday, in a ruling that triggered about US$9.5 million (¥1 billion) in damages for thousands of residents who lost their livelihoods and could also lead to further compensation claims.

UK Moves Up Ban on New Fossil Fuel Vehicles to 2030

Judge Orders Europe’s Biggest Coal Plant to Negotiate Closure with Environmental Lawyers

Climate Strikers Accuse CPC Leader O’Toole of Grabbing Their ‘Take Back Canada’ Slogan

Portuguese Climate Youth Sue 33 countries

Lake Erie Wind Farm Clears Major Hurdle

Exxon Uses U.S. CCS Tax Credit to ‘Drive Up Profits, Keep Oil Flowing’

While carbon capture and storage is touted as a way to decarbonize fossil fuel production, colossal fossil ExxonMobil has been using a CCS facility in Wyoming to drive up profits and keep oil flowing by selling its captured carbon dioxide to other companies that use it to pump more oil, InsideClimate News reveals in a detailed report.

Hundreds of Toxic U.S. Superfund Sites at Heightened Risk of Climate Change Impacts

More than two-thirds of the 1,334 Superfund sites that currently blight the U.S. are increasingly at risk of serious climate change impacts—but that hasn’t stopped the White House from doubling down on denial while slashing funds earmarked for remediation.

Sweden, Norway Take a Lead in EU’s Swing to Renewable Energy

Nordic countries are helping to lead on the European Union’s commitment to source 30% of its energy from renewables by 2030, thanks to renewable-driven heating systems and smart energy developments.

Chad Risks World Heritage Status for Iconic Lake in Exchange for Fossil Dollars

A two-year international effort to have Lake Chad declared a UNESCO world heritage site on both cultural and environmental grounds may come to naught with the revelation that Chad has asked to put off the registration process—in order to allow it to accommodate oil and gas interests.

Trump Tweets Plan for $22-Billion Freight Line from Alaska to Alberta

Canadian tar sands/oil sands producers are hoping for another export route to Asia after Donald Trump said he would issue a presidential permit to build a C$22-billion freight rail line between Alaska and Alberta.

Ford Workers Ratify Deal that Brings EV Manufacturing to Oakville

Court Restores Trespassing Charges Against Credit Suisse Protesters

Ottawa Postpones Building Code Updates to December 2021

Yukon Green Plan Includes EV Rebates

FERC Allows Distributed Energy to Compete with U.S. Power Plants

U.S. Regulator Foresees Financial Havoc from Climate Change

Japan Blocks Green Reforms in Energy Trading Treaty

Humanity Faces a ‘Climate Reckoning’, Trudeau Says, as 60 World Leaders Sign Climate-Biodiversity Pledge

The world faces a “climate reckoning”, and countries must create a more equitable international system that can confront 21st century challenges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the United Nations General Assembly in a recorded address Friday.

Canadian Youth Climate Lawsuit to Begin Hearings This Week

Even as it declares that its recovery plans are rooted in climate action, the Canadian government is working hard to dismiss a climate injury suit launched a year ago by 15 Canadian youth activists, including a teenager from Haida Gwaii who is witnessing the devastation of rising seas first hand.

California Bans New Internal Combustion Car Sales After 2035

The U.S. state that likes to style itself the world’s fifth-largest economy will ban all sales of new gasoline-powered cars after 2035 under an executive order signed last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Indonesia Deforestation Soared Under Pandemic Lockdown

BREAKING: New Assessment Declares Canada’s Climate Plan ‘Insufficient’ as Throne Speech Day Dawns

With the Trudeau government just hours away from tabling its long-awaited Speech from the Throne, the international Climate Action Tracker is branding the country’s carbon reduction efforts “insufficient” and consistent with a 3.0°C world, with “little support” for green recovery measures to date.

Wilkinson Says COVID Won’t Hijack Canada’s Green Agenda as Climate Community Demands Commitments, O’Regan Touts Nuclear

On the eve of this afternoon’s Speech from the Throne, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is declaring that the pandemic won’t hijack Canada’s green agenda, adding that “if left unaddressed, climate change will have more of an impact on Canadians than COVID-19,” CTV News reports.

Supreme Court Hears Carbon Pricing Appeals in ‘Make-or-Break’ Case

The Supreme Court of Canada is in the midst of a high-stakes, two-day hearing on whether the federal government’s floor price on carbon is constitutional.

Opinion: Ginsburg’s Death Deals Another Blow to U.S. Climate Law

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s uniquely untimely death on September 18, less than two months before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, may result in Donald Trump picking a third Supreme Court justice before his four-year term ends in January 2021.

Brazil Indigenous Communities Use Drones to Protect Amazon

‘Battery Passport’ Promotes Ethical Sourcing for Lithium-Ion Manufacturing

West Coast Wildfires Reveal Risks in Carbon Offset Credit System

Energy economists may soon need to add a further entry to the chronicle of loss generated by this summer’s wildfire infernos: millions of carbon offset credits.

Snoozing EV Driver Caught Speeding, Angers Alberta Tesla Community

A Tesla driver’s recent asleep-at-the-wheel stint on autopilot on a highway south of Edmonton has left road patrols gobsmacked and Tesla devotees fuming at a behaviour they say maligns an otherwise safety-conscious crowd.

U.S. Court Delays Trump Methane Regulation Rollback

Alberta Community Felt Duped by Wind Developer’s Sales Tactics

Pennsylvania Gas Production Hits New High

Critics Demand Financial Review of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Claim Victory Slowing Down Construction

A list of more than 100 Canadian economists and resource policy specialists that includes a former CEO of BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro is urging the federal government to reassess the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project in light of rising project costs and plummeting oil demand, while a group of campaigners in British Columbia takes a victory lap for slowing down construction of the controversial pipeline.

Pension Plan’s Fossil Investments Undercut Canada’s Climate Commitments, Report Concludes

The Canada Pension Plan’s “substantial private equity investments” in the fossil industry over the last few years have undercut the country’s climate commitments and “underestimate the urgent need for climate action and energy transition,” according to a new report from the Canada Climate Law Initiative that scorches the “troubling incrementalism” in the CPP’s investment strategy.

Only One in Three Canadian Dealerships Stocks EVs Despite Surging Demand

Canadians looking to buy an electric vehicle likely face a long wait, with auto dealerships across the country chronically undersupplied even as policy-makers invest in charging infrastructure and incentives, says a new report commissioned by Transport Canada.

Insurer Files Suit Against Dike Builder in Devastating 2019 Flood

U.S. Funds Industry Pushes Back After Trump Tries to Limit Green Investments

Charleston, SC Becomes First U.S. Southern City to Sue Fossils for Climate Damages

Ontario’s Ford Government Guts Environmental Protections, Undermines Health Record

While Ontario’s Ford government has proven to be an able defender of health in the face of COVID-19, it continues to be a profound threat to the environment, gutting established protections, hobbling climate action at every opportunity and, most recently, hamstringing the province’s environmental review process.

Move Toward EVs Not Enough to Mitigate Ride-Hailing Emissions

While recent pledges by Lyft and Uber to electrify their entire Canadian fleets by 2030 are laudable, public policy is still needed to tackle the growing spike in emissions as a pandemic-wary public increasingly turns away from transit and toward ride-hailing.

Three Chinese Conservation Activists Detained for ‘Picking Quarrels’

Delaware Sues Fossils for Climate Impacts

Justin Trudeau

Fossils Troll for Relief as Throne Speech Focus Veers Toward Housing, Income Support

With the latest news and commentary out of Ottawa pointing to housing, employment insurance reform, and long-term care as main focal points for the September 23 Speech from the Throne, the fossil industry is pushing the Trudeau government for more bailout dollars and regulatory delays as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Climate Crisis ‘Does Not Pause for Pandemic’, G7 Parliamentary Speakers Declare

The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis “require a robust and coordinated national response”, and elected parliaments must play a key role “by passing legislation, by approving national budgets, and by holding governments to account,” the speakers of the G7 parliaments declared Saturday, in a joint statement signed by the speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Anthony Rota.

UK Citizen Climate Assembly Calls for ‘Fair’ Green Recovery

A ban on SUVs, a frequent flyer tax, carbon emissions labelling, and protections for those most exposed in the push to net zero were among the core recommendations when the UK’s citizen-led Climate Assembly issued its final report last week.

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Line 5 Pipeline Reopens After Regulators Complete Safety Review

Calgary-based Enbridge Energy has received permission to restart normal operations on the east leg of the aging Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac, after a review by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “did not identify any integrity issues” caused by an anchor support being pulled out of place, apparently by a contractor’s support vessel.

Australian Utility to Offer EV ‘Subscriptions’

In an Australian first, Sydney-based public utility AGL is launching a “Netflix for EVs”: a rather pricey subscription service, paid weekly, that offers customers access to a serviced and insured electric car, along with the home charging system they need to keep it powered.

Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador Resist Class Action Suit in 2017 Flood

Alberta Dials Down Expectations with Softer Mandate for ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Inquiry

The Alberta government may be losing momentum in its crusade against supposed “foreign-funded special interests” working against the province’s oilpatch, with the deadline for commissioner Steve Allan’s report delayed four months and his terms of reference adjusted to acknowledge that he might not actually find any foreign influence over the industry.

Judge Strikes Down Ontario’s Gas Pump Propaganda Stickers as ‘Blatant Advantage-Seeking’

The Doug Ford government’s gas tank propaganda stickers against the federal floor price on carbon were an “unconstitutional attempt” to force private gas station operators to “stick it to” another order of government or political party, Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday.

21 of 50 Major ‘Recovery’ Projects in U.S. Involve Fossil Investment